SME programs do not conflict with existing programs or treatments. The programs are designed to enhance regular and disease-specific treatments and education programs. ​​​KSME partners are offering self-management education programs, originally developed by Stanford University's Division of Family and Community Medicine in the School of Medicine, throughout Kansas​​. The programs were developed for people with chronic health conditions, their caregivers and significant others over a number of years beginning in 1996. Each program is unique and designed as a small-group workshop series to help participants gain self-confidence in their ability to:

  • control their symptoms,
  • better manage their health, and
  • lead a fuller life.

These programs are among the most studied evidence-based programs in the world. With more than 30 years of research, multiple studies have demonstrated SME programs result in lasting positive personal growth, reductions in healthcare expenditures and an increase in the use of appropriate healthcare resources.

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Workshops are offered in community settings (like libraries, senior centers, churches, etc.) and facilitated by two trained leaders, one or both of whom are non-health professionals. One of the group leaders MUST have a chronic condition. Ideally, the second group leader is acting as a caregiver for someone with a chronic condition. Workshop groups meet for 2.5 hours (maximum), once per week for six weeks.